Launching Project-Based Learning

Focus Area: Project-Based Learning


Pathway: Understanding

Available Now


Project based learning is a dynamic approach that makes learning relevant, flexible, and engaging. Project based learning is not one single strategy; instead, it is a set of principles and strategies focused on problem solving, critical thinking, and inquiry. While some advocates suggest an “all or nothing” approach to project based and experiential learning, BetterLesson is focused on making learning more experiential, hands-on, and authentic via targeted activities and teaching strategies that can be implemented in any classroom. But it can be daunting for teachers to transition from traditional teacher-directed instruction to a project based model.  Project based learning must be replicable and differentiated for practitioners at varying levels of comfort for a project based approach to be successful. 

In this Design Workshop, participants will:

  • Define a vision for implementing more project based learning that feels actionable
  • Explore key models and scenarios of project based learning to anticipate and problem solve challenges
  • Build a plan for an upcoming unit, using the “Try, Measure, and Learn” model to apply project-based learning to their context


This session is designed for teachers, coaches, and leaders who want to build a common language and experience around project based learning. This workshop is targeted to support educators to launch into the school year with the ability to develop project based learning experiences that will engage and motivate students.


  • 6 hours
  • Participants will need a computer with Internet access

Learning Experience


  • Review research supporting student centered and project based initiatives, and collectively name challenges with implementation
  • Build common language around what project based learning is, the design elements of PBL, and how we can make it actionable over time
  • Walk through the steps of building a PBL unit by applying learning to their own context and getting feedback on their ideas


  • Explore sample project plans to internalize the variety of ways and depths that PBL can be implemented by using a provided PBL rubric
  • Experience videos of PBL in action in the classroom to problem solve and identify key moves for monitoring progress
  • Learn about strategies and tools for developing a successful PBL unit


  • Start to build a PBL project plan at various levels of depth using a provided template
  • Receive feedback on the plan from peers, modeling a structure that students can also use
  • Identify concrete next steps to make their plan come to life
  • Share with the learning community to build a bank of resources, increase accountability, and identify ongoing support